The Little Company






                  Deliverance of the Saints.

     It was at midnight that God chose to deliver his people. As the wicked were mocking around them, suddenly the sun appeared, shining in his strength, and the moon stood still. The wicked beheld the scene with amazement. Signs and wonders followed in quick succession. Every thing seemed turned out of its natural course. The saints beheld the tokens of their deliverance with solemn joy.   

     The streams ceased to flow. Dark, heavy clouds came up, and clashed against each other. But there was one clear place of settled glory, from whence came the voice of God, like many waters, which shook the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. The graves were shaken open, and those who had died in faith under the third angel's message, keeping the Sabbath, came forth from their dusty beds, glorified, to hear the covenant of peace that God was to make with those who had kept his law.     

     The sky opened and shut, and was in commotion. The mountains shook like a reed in the wind, and cast out ragged rocks all around. The sea boiled like a pot, and cast out stones upon the land. And as God spake the day and hour of Jesus' coming, and delivered the everlasting covenant to his people, he spake one sentencand then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth. The Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed upwards, listening to the words as they came from the mouth of Jehovah, and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder. It was awfully solemn. At the end of every sentence the saints shouted, Glory! Hallelujah! Their countenances were lighted up with the glory of God; and they shone with the glory as did Moses' face when he came down from Sinai. The wicked could not look on them for the glory. And when the never-ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honored God, in keeping his Sabbath holy, there was a mighty shout of victory over the beast, and over his image.   

     Then commenced the jubilee, when the land should rest. I saw the pious slave rise in triumph and victory, and shake off the chains that bound him, while his wicked master was in confusion, and knew not what to do; for the wicked could not understand the words of the voice of God. Soon appeared the great white cloud. On it sat the Son of man.     

     This cloud when it first appeared in the distance, looked very small. The angel said that it was the sign of the Son of man. And as the cloud approached nearer to the earth, we could behold the excellent glory and majesty of Jesus as he rode forth to conquer. A holy retinue of angels, with their bright, glittering crowns upon their heads, escorted him on his way. No language can describe the glory of the scene. The living cloud of majesty, and unsurpassed glory, came still nearer, and we could clearly behold the lovely person of Jesus. He did not wear a crown of thorns; but a crown of glory decked his holy brow. Upon his vesture and thigh was a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. His eyes were as a flame of fire, his feet had the appearance of fine brass, and his voice sounded like many musical instruments. His countenance was as bright as the noon-day sun. The earth trembled before him, and the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?     

     Those who a little before would have destroyed God's faithful children from the earth, had to witness the glory of God which rested upon them. They had seen them glorified. And amid all the terrible scenes they had heard the voices of the saints in joyful strains, saying, Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us. The earth mightily shook as the voice of the Son of God called forth the sleeping saints. They responded to the call, and came forth clothed with glorious immortality, crying, Victory! victory! over death and the grave. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Then the living saints, and the resurrected ones, raised their voices in a long, transporting shout of victory. Those sickly bodies that had gone down into the grave came up in immortal health and vigor. The living saints were changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and caught up with the resurrected ones, and together they meet their Lord in the air. O what a glorious meeting. Friends whom death had separated, were united, never more to part.     

     On either side of the cloudy chariot were wings, and beneath it were living wheels; and as the cloudy chariot rolled upward, the wheels cried, Holy, and the wings, as they moved, cried, Holy, and the retinue of holy angels around the cloud cried, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. And the saints in the cloud cried, Glory, Alleluia. And the chariot rolled upward to the holy city. Before entering the holy city, the saints were arranged in a perfect square, with Jesus in the midst. He was head and shoulders high above the saints, and head and shoulders above the angels. His majestic form, and lovely countenance, could be seen by all in the square.     

  The Saints' Reward

     Then I saw a very great number of angels bring from the city glorious crowns; a crown for every saint with his name written thereon; and as Jesus called for the crowns, angels presented them to him, and the lovely Jesus, with his own right hand, placed the crowns on the heads of the saints. In the same manner, the angels brought the harps, and Jesus presented them also to the saints. The commanding angels first struck the note, and then every voice was raised in grateful, happy praise, and every hand skillfully swept over the strings of the harp, sending forth melodious music in rich and perfect strains. Then I saw Jesus lead the redeemed company to the gate of the city. He laid hold of the gate and swung it back on its glittering hinges, and bade the nations who had kept the truth to enter in. There was every thing in the city to feast the eye. Rich glory they be held every where. Then Jesus looked upon his redeemed saints; their countenances were radiant with glory; and as he fixed his loving  eyes upon them, he said, with his rich, musical voice, I behold the travail of my soul, and am satisfied. This rich glory is yours to enjoy eternally. Your sorrows are ended. There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. I saw the redeemed host bow and cast their glittering crowns at the feet of Jesus, and then, as his lovely hand raised them up, they touched their golden harps, and filled all heaven with their rich music, and songs to the Lamb.     

     I then saw Jesus leading the redeemed host to the tree of life, and again we heard his lovely voice, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, saying, The leaves of this tree are for the healing of the nations. Eat ye all of it. Upon the tree of life was most beautiful fruit, which the saints could partake of freely. There was a most glorious throne in the City, and from under the throne proceeded a pure river of water of life, as clear as crystal. On either side of this river of life was the tree of life. On the banks of the river were beautiful trees bearing fruit which was good for food. Language is altogether too feeble to attempt a description of heaven. As the scene rises before me I am lost in amazement; and carried away with the surpassing splendor and the excellent glory, I lay down the pen, and exclaim, O what love! What wondrous love! The most exalted language cannot describe the glory of heaven, nor the matchless depths of a Saviour's love.

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